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Press Release Published: Jun 4, 2021

Comer, Brady, Kelly, Walorski Demand Answers from Becerra on Biden’s Border Crisis

Republican members outline enormous toll the crisis is having on taxpayer funds, federal agencies, and U.S. foster care system

WASHINGTON—With billions in taxpayer funds reallocated, hundreds of volunteers deployed to the border, and the U.S. foster care system reaching a breaking point, the consequences of President Biden’s border crisis are intensifying.

Committee on Oversight and Reform Republican Leader James Comer (R-Ky.) and Ways and Means Republican Leader Kevin Brady (R-Texas), Oversight Subcommittee Republican Leader Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), and Worker Family Support Subcommittee Republican Leader Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) called on Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra to provide transparency.

Read the full letter here. An excerpt is below.

“We are committed to ensuring that both American foster children and unaccompanied children crossing the border are safe, secure, and properly cared for. 

“Answers to our questions are essential to help Congress understand how HHS is managing the approximately 18,000 unaccompanied children in its care and what impact the agency’s decisions will have on American foster children, federal government operations, and congressional appropriations.”

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

Biden’s border crisis is costing taxpayers billions.

  • HHS has diverted about $2.1 billion allocated by Congress to cover the cost of caring for more than 29,000 migrant children who have crossed the southern border this year.
  • Approximately 18,000 unaccompanied migrant children are currently in the care of HHS.

Volunteers from across the federal government have been deployed to help address Biden’s border crisis. 

Biden’s border crisis poses serious challenges to the U.S. foster care system. 

  • Last month, more than 280 children in Texas spent consecutive nights with child protective services at offices, hotels, or churches, because no foster care provider had an open bed.  

Republicans are demanding answers.

  • Oversight Committee Republicans have on three separate occasions demanded Oversight Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) hold a hearing on the border crisis.
  • In April, Ways and Means Republicans requested Secretary Becerra provide a briefing on the crisis’s toll on the foster system.

Reps. Walorski and Kelly called on HHS Inspector General to investigate the border crisis’ effect on U.S. foster children.